December 23, 2011

Picture This

This is one of those times when pictures are going to tell a better story than I am.  At some point, after we've returned to Singapore and I've been able to process all that I've seen and heard, I will be able to hopefully share with you how in the world I think we can take what we know now and infuse it with our lives.  This is one of those times I'm super glad I'm married to a guy that doesn't make decisions based on his emotions because I'd be going home with 9 more children if I could.

The boys and their new friends....the Taviano their tuk tuk.  

We arrived at the Boy's Center where the kids were waiting outside for the doors
to open.  The Center has been in operation for only a few months and provides
a safe place for boys that have been sold into the sex trade industry by
their parents or are at risk for being sold.  They get to be kids and play, learn English 
so they can someday earn money without being abused, and they have Bible club were 
they learn about true love.  We've been asked to not show any faces
of these boys online, but believe me when I say that I have a ton...and they
are smiling and happy because they are safe and loved there.

While there are many places for young girls and teens that are immersed in
the sex trafficking business, this is the only center in Cambodia specifically for
the boys.  

We got to be a part of the Christmas party......
the younger boys made these hats and they looked adorable in them!

Every single boy got a Christmas goody bag stuffed mostly with things
we and the Tavianos brought with us.  Thank you very much to those
of you that were involved in helping us give them some really cool stuff!

Working with the Boy's Center staff to fill bags!

Meet Yvonne and Steph.....they are real life angels.  Both of them are in 
their 20's and have devoted their lives to these boys.  They currently run
the Boy's Center with a Cambodian staff (who make less than $200 a month each) 
and are financed entirely by individual donors.  They love and fight for these boys 
and are incredibly humble and selfless......they are two of the most beautiful women
I have ever met. 

Steph loving on "baby P" who is 4 years old.  He had been coming to the 
center for a while before a series of events alerted the staff to the fact
that he and his older brother and sister had been sold by their parents to
a foreigner for sex.  It is absolutely horrific and devastatingly sad, but
so good that he is loved and in counseling and has people investing
in his sweet young life.  

I think this shirt says it all.....

We have also been to an orphanage sponsored by Asia's Hope.  This particular orphanage is supported by the Taviano's church back in Ohio.  There was a difference in the kids at the orphanage as compared to the Boy's Center.  They are more confident and secure and are getting an education...they are safe and loved.  The kids there eagerly await the Taviano's arrival and we got to be a part of that.  We drove up in our tuk tuks to the sounds of kids yelling their hello's and were welcomed with hugs from everyone.  

The boys have been wonderful with the kids this entire trip.  They have 
jumped right in and handled all of it very well.  

Garrett and his new friend Sophan getting ready to play a game that 
required everyone to pair up.  

And then it was silly string time.  We had brought quite a few 
cans with us and the kids LOVED it!!  

This is Sothourn with my friend Marla who is responsible for us being here.  
She is incredible and has a huge heart for Cambodia.

After some discussion we went ahead and let Garrett bring his
guitar with him to Cambodia.  I'm really glad we did....he loved
hanging out with some of the older boys playing their guitars.

Scot has been a kid magnet...especially to the younger kids.  That little boy
in the striped shirt?  He's the cutie from my previous post that had the
enormous smile and pipe cleaner glasses.  He's even more adorable
in real life!!

He was very popular when he started throwing kids in the air.  I love all the
hands raised from the kids wanting to be next!!

While I spent more time taking pictures than anything else, I did sit at the orphanage
long enough for this sweet girl to climb into my lap.  She eventually turned around
to give me a big hug that I desperately needed.  That and a good shampoo to 
get all the silly string out of my hair.


  1. Beautiful post. I love you being here. And I love YOU.

  2. Wow, I love this! Keri, if you send out notices that you've created a new blog, will you please add me? I am Yvonnes long distance friend and Marla's friend in Ohio :-)



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